We used to make it all the time in our house. It was ever-present in our refrigerator. I even had a favorite flavor. I know most people say, “red,” but that’s not specific enough for me. I had a favorite brand of red. Strawberry. Most other folks in my house didn’t like that kind, so I had to make strawberry any time I got a chance. I recall the slightly discolored, big wooden spoon we used to stir it up. I’d stand on a chair in the kitchen, stirring to my hearts desire. My goal? To make a little mini tornado in the pitcher. Kool-Aid! Like Saturday morning cartoons, a staple in my household in the 80’s. I liked stirring my own kool-aid. Only I could do it right. I was a stir-ologist. Under-stirring would cause the sugar to remain at the bottom of the pitcher…undissolved. At that point I would merely have dyed water, with a nice sediment of sugar at the bottom.
Interesting that Paul would use a word that combines the Greek words for life and fire in this text…which is translated “stir up.” In fact, this is the only occurrence of this word in the Bible. It literally means to kindle afresh or to keep in full flame. As I sat and thought about stirring that Kool-Aid, I began to think about the gifts that I have let become sedimentary in my life. I thought about gifts and talents that God has placed in me that needed to be stirred up. As you read this, you might be thinking the same thing.
What gifts and talents need to be stirred up in your life?
How might those gifts be a blessing to someone else? I know many talented people. Many of them are consistently operating in what God has gifted them to do. On the other hand, I know folks who have plays laying dormant in them. They have songs laying dormant in them. They have publications laying dormant in them. They have non-profit organizations laying dormant in them. As they enter a new year, they are reflecting on their lives and (like unstirred Kool-Aid) something just doesn’t seem right. Their lives seem sedimentary.
With a new year on the horizon, I am not very keen on making resolutions. However, I am grateful for this simple reminder from God. With a wife, kid, and other obligations, I lead a very busy life. I’ve used that as an excuses for not doing something I was passionate about…writing and shooting videos. I didn’t have the time.
Truth be told, when you are hungry/thirsty enough, you make time to eat/drink.
I stirred that Kool-Aid hard because I was thirsty. More often than not, I had just come in from playing outdoors and I just couldn’t wait to pour me a big cup. Why can’t we treat our spiritual nourishment in the same way? In this text, we are encouraged to stir up our gifts.
Keep in mind, your gift is what nourishes you spiritually.
How thirsty are you? 2012 is the year of the gift. God is going to give you opportunities to use the gift He placed in you. But you have to stir it up. This year, get your spoon…and get to stirring. That may mean breaking out that unused keyboard. That may mean setting aside more time to pursue a hobby that God desires to become a passion. Either way, refreshment awaits!
“Do not neglect the gift that is in you…” (1 Timothy 4:14)
“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you…” (2 Timothy 1:6)